Am I The Narcissist?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

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I hear frequently from readers who fear they are the narcissist and the one with the personality disorder.

My answer?

“Absolutely not!”

This distorted thinking is a consequence of prolonged abuse that started in childhood and its traumatic impacts on your beliefs, self-worth, self-assurance, gauges of reasoning, and your abilities to trust and regulate your emotions.

The fact that you would even be concerned about this, demonstrates that your emotional capabilities although skewed, are intact.

Prolonged narcissistic abuse is slick invalidation from emotional vampires – carefully planned and premeditated efforts to stealthily through covert aggressive combat maneuvers, take everything valuable that you have to offer (your love, trust, compassion, beauty, generosity, child-bearing abilities, finances, or whatever) that they can manipulate from you to provide an illusion of grandeur and greatness to the world without any of the work.

When we do, we give up our power and energy that per our divine design at conception, were intended to be used by and for us to nurture our souls and become the best versions of ourselves as we search for internal truth – truth that we choose to share with others in relationships of mutual respect.

So, “no” you are not a narcissist. You, however, are a wounded victim of one or more who steal energy from you they cannot generate on their own. And perhaps you picked up some of their bad behaviors that will pass once you are away from them.

The good news is that you can fix your skewed thinking and heal and as you do, so will your children and you will thrive. You will make memories and people will love you just for being you. You will release the pain that made you vulnerable to them in the first place and become a stronger more self-assured version of yourself.

th-14You will take your power back and thrive. I explore these topics in much more depth in my book, Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors.

Narcissists will be forever evil and when they are done and gone, the only person anyone will miss is the one they will never be.

Read more below on the topic from one of my favorite Facebook Pages of “Truth,” “Sanctuary for Awareness and Recovery:”

Sanctuary For Awareness And Recovery

Paradox with several Personality Disorders and mental illnesses: since the ego and perception are both affected, it is common for those with some PD’s and mental illnesses with Narcissistic traits to actually perceive those they are treating poorly as the ones who are Narcissistic, because of their reactions to their behavior, or because they have healthy confidence and boundaries.

The root cause is usually a lack of boundaries, and a lack of respect or awareness for other people’s boundaries.

So the person who insults your teeth might call you “narcissistic” if you don’t just LET them insult your teeth. Apparently you were supposed to agree with them or hang your head in shame, not stand up for yourself against a blatant insult. So therefore in their mind the insult was perfectly fine, it was your reaction to the insult that was “narcissistic.”

Another example of this may be when someone enters your home or room without knocking or without waiting for an answer when this has not been established as the “norm” for them in your home or room, in other words you have NOT told them to “don’t knock, just come in.” They’re already showing a lack of boundaries with this behavior, so one shouldn’t be surprised that they react very defensively and emotionally when asked not to do that.

Saying and doing things that display hostility, arrogance, coldness, aggression, superiority or hatred are blatant displays of poor or absent boundaries, so when such a person’s behavior is confronted, disagreed with, or disapproved of, (speaking in a respectful manner that is), they are most likely going to react defensively and perceive it as arrogance, control, or an attack, and if they have some level of narcissism they may rage.

Why Are People Evil?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

th-2Now, I am not preaching or discussing my religious beliefs however religion, anecdotes, truth, and evil are are my mind today. And this is why.

I have always been fascinated with what makes people evil. Frankly, I could never relate and still have a hard time understanding the lack of compassion and empathy in evil rotten broken people, specifically pathological narcissists and psychopaths. But since most religions address good and evil, it was natural for me to use them as sources of information.

This is what I found:

  1. Pretty much all religions are founded on reconciliation of good and evil and the search for truth or enlightenment.
  2. They use anecdotes, short accounts of a real incident or person not supported by scientific data, to make a point.
  3. All discuss the consequences of committing evil deeds or violation of moral or ethical codes more commonly referred to as “sins.” Most define what these moral and ethical codes are and list them and provide examples in anecdotes. Sins are graded  by severity from least to most harmful as are good characteristics from least to most beneficial.
  4. Most provide some leeway for those who truly unknowingly commit sins or repent them.
  5. Punishments for breaking the rules are commensurate with their severity and the level of intent in committing the sin. In all religions, evil people pay the ultimate price for the worst “mortal” sins and good virtuous people reap the benefits. For example, the ultimate price, in Christianity, for the truly evil who do not repent is hell and eternal damnation. The benefit for the righteous is enlightenment and eternal life.
  6. Some claim evil is passed down from generation to generation.
  7. All are founded in faith, belief without justification or what I refer to as “internal truth” or “internal beliefs.”

Read more on dysfunctional families and intergenerational abuse.

Let’s examine now in the discussion of evil, the worst of the sins referred to as the seven capital sins, deadly sins or mortal sins and their relation to the seven virtues.

th-1The Roman Catholic Church recognized the Seven Capital Virtues as opposites to the Seven Deadly Sins. According to Dante’s The Divine Comedy, the sins have an order of greatness, and the virtues a respective order of greatness as well.

This order is shown below from the least significant to the most significant. Note that pride or vanity otherwise known as narcissism, then, is listed as the worst of the mortal sins. It is considered the cause of the other six, hence, the “root of all evil.” Note also that the virtues identify what are the most desirable character traits.

Seven Mortal Sins

  1. Lust (excessive sexual appetites)
  2. Gluttony (over-indulgence)
  3. Greed (avarice)
  4. Sloth (laziness/idleness)th-7
  5. Wrath (anger)
  6. Envy (jealousy)
  7. Pride (vanity)

Seven Virtues

  1. Chastity (purity)
  2. Temperance (self-restraint)
  3. Charity (giving)
  4. Diligence (zeal/integrity/Labor)
  5. Forgiveness (composure)
  6. Kindness (admiration)
  7. Humility (humbleness)

So aren’t we, the compassionate loving virtuous ones the targets of narcissistic evil beasts who the scriptures describe as the root of all evil?

Read more here on how narcissists target empaths.

What are we to make of the evil narcissists with deficient characters in our lives who mucked with our belief system, abused us, exploited us, shadowed their brokenness and evilness on us and tried to turn us into them? What are we to make of those who as discussed in the Bible “call evil good and good evil and put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

15542103_1865236083711339_1752394264640839557_nThis is what I profess, that in all religions, at a point in history when the level of man’s thinking was less mature, when psychology did not exist and we relied on the heavens for answers, folks were describing narcissists and psychopaths. Compassionate loving empathic virtuous people from every corner of the world who were being targeted and scapegoated by narcissists and psychopaths (Jesus being the most famous of scapegoats) were desperate for answers in their common searches for truth. And they wrote their answers in their scriptures and described them in anecdotes to educate and warn us of the evil among us and the impending doom. This is what preempted “psychology” before its birth and we could put a name to these disordered humans. And they were pretty much spot on.

Read more on the pandemic of narcissism across the world.

As they all described, when all is said and done, people will remember those kind compassionate people, the enlightened ones who live in truth, and will miss them and share those memories with others. We can learn from our mistakes, course and thought correct, and repent from our “sins.” Our souls can be nourished and we can heal. Our spirits and souls do live forever. This, I profess is eternal life commonly known as “heaven.”

th-4And those evil ones, the narcissists and psychopaths, when they pass, people will rejoice and forget them and no one will share memories of them or miss them. They cannot be cured. They are evil unrepentant sinners who cannot create their own energy and leave no memories to sustain those who remain. Their spirits and insatiable souls are gone forever. This, I profess is eternal damnation commonly known as “hell.”

8 Effective Ways to Outsmart a Narcissist

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

If you are or have been in a relationship th-16with a narcissist or were raised by or among one or more, you have been traumatized by and suffered what I believe is the worst psychological and emotional abuse imaginable. The harm is immeasurable and can go on for years.

You will read over and over and over again how “no contact” is critical to your healing from the trauma and for you rebuild your destroyed self-esteem and self-worth and, for some, your broken bank accounts.

And I agree…totally. Fortunately, some of mine (yes, a herd) live far away and make it a bit easier for me.

But what about the one or ones who are not far away? What about those you have to see on a periodic or more frequent basis? What about those we must be around or those we work with and see or speak with daily or every other day or even weekly? What about those we may be in court with, at graduation, a school ceremony, or maybe even a wedding?

How do we manage those interactions? How do we make them tolerable? Should we?

I remembered at the beginning of my healing even after years of study wondering (I analyze all the time), “Can you have a workable relationship with a narcissist?”

The answer is an unequivocal, YES.

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Sam Vaknin, a pathological narcissist amongst other things, and a renowned expert on narcissism, stated that you could if you learned how to manipulate him or her or them. If Sam, a self proclaimed narcissist and expert whom I respect very much said so then it must be so. After all, I have a professional relationship with Sam. Since Sam is brilliant, extremely analytical and detailed, and based on my reading thousands of pages he (and others) have written on pathological narcissism, I can only surmise he does not know exactly how. Sam does provide excellent pointers (with a narcissist’s bias) on how to deal with them but did not provide specific “how” to tips. After all, how often would a narcissist manipulate another narcissist, right? It is possible but not probable.

So I embarked on my own mission to figure out “how do I outsmart a narcissist” and here is what I discovered:

“Use them to your advantage as they use you.”

Let’s break this down a bit further.

If narcissists need adulation and attention and feed off of our energy and we know what makes them tick, why not give them what they need in selective and effective doses if and only if it benefits you or your children.

Give them a dose of their own medicine with a spoonful of sugar!

The key here is only if it benefits you and only if you are comfortable and secure in your sense of personal power.

Small mosquitoAnd if you are, then, use your compassion and emotional intelligence that made you a target of a narcissist now to manipulate them as they did us and to balance out the power, to level the playing field, per se. Use your regained personal power to tip the scales in your favor and to turn the parasite host relationship into a mutually beneficial one and one that will minimize and prevent further harm to you and your children.

th-17Oh, the narcissist will make all attempts to take something from you, no doubt. They need to in order to survive. It is their given purpose like it is a mosquito’s purpose to buzz around and annoy you. So the goal here is to minimize the harm to you and your children using psychological narc repellant.

One thing for sure, you cannot accomplish this goal by seeking revenge on them or trying to ruin him or her or his or her reputation.

I would like to caution everyone that doing this is not advisable and probably not going to be very effective in your early stages of healing when your self-power and self-esteem are diminished and no contact is absolutely necessary to ensure your well-being. This also takes strong self-resolve, focus, and discipline and good “acting” skills. While these are honed over time, you can, nevertheless, start learning and practicing them immediately. At this point strong advocacy by someone experienced in narcissism and
narcissistic abuse recovery may be warranted and can be very useful to take some of the burden off of you, minimize your contact with the narcissist, and allow you to focus on
your healing. Remember, we should never participate in an interaction that will put us or our children in harm’s way. Seek police or legal or professional action for protection immediately.

So here are eight quick and effective strategies you can use to manipulate a narcissist and help minimize the harm they inflict on you. Note, however, that the narcissists benefit as well. These suggestions are mutually beneficially and are designed to balance power and minimize and prevent further harm to you and your children. That is the key objective here.

  1. Be strategic, not revengeful.th-14

Establish clear goals with the strongest emphasis on your long term vision of emotional freedom and health rather than short term material gains, revenge, and ego satisfaction. Money and material possessions are not an indicator of success or healthy self-esteem and can be regained and earned quicker that your emotional health can heal. Money can be a powerful motivator in the interim but may do more harm longer term if it keeps you trapped and emotionally unhealthy and suffering. Be clear that your motives during “required” interactions be based solely on what benefits you and your children and supports your emotional healing into the future.

images-3Narcissists are aggressive but very predictable and you can use this to develop offensive strategies to achieve your goals and minimize harm from them. Your choice of divorce or to stop providing narcissistic supply will instill his or her wrath and they will fight to the death to win and defend their fear of shame from you exposing the truth about who they really are to those who know them and even those who do not in the courtroom. So he or she will not hesitate to destroy you and your reputation and lie about you and recruit his flying monkeys to lie about you in court. Expect this and be prepared. Stay calm and focused on long-term emotional freedom and your children’s well-being, not short term self-satisfaction and retaliation.

Retaliation and benefit are not synonymous. Do not seek revenge or ever “go after” a narcissist, or anyone for that matter. Narcissists are energy vampires and feed off of your negative energies which keeps them on the offensive and in combat mode to defeat you. Going after them can keep you stuck, as well, in reactive victimhood mentality mode that feeds your ego-based need for revenge and retaliation rather than your long-term emotional freedom and health. Revenge, in effect, directs your feeling of powerlessness to your abuser and transfers your power to him or her, power they continue to use against you and your children. The best type of revenge is your and your children’s personal and emotional healing. As you heal, your children will heal through you.

  1. Use your compassion and emotional intelligence to your advantage.

Play off a narcissist’s predictable and (yawn), yes, boring, reactions and moods. Use this knowledge to fuel your strength and develop offensive strategies. You know them better than they know themselves. Gauge their moods and meter your actions accordingly. Be careful not to overdo it. Act commensurate with what you want to achieve. Be creative. Think out of the box.

Rather than trigger their fears and aggressive offensive actions, focus on creating an illusion that the narcissist is winning. If he aggressively goes after you, do not react aggressively. Remain calm and be soothing instead. Choose your battles carefully and be willing to lose a battle to win the war. If he or she wants the furniture, for example, keep a few pieces for yourself and not only give them the rest, tell them they deserve it. No harm done, you have fed their depraved need to win, and increased the chances they will back off and moved closer to the finish line. In the mean time, make a plan to redecorate and buy that awesome furniture you want and deserve.

  1. Only interact with them on days that things are going their way.

This is when they are the most malleable. Otherwise have no contact with them. Remember that you will always be their narcissistic supply and on their off days, they will shadow their wrath on you like they did in the past. The objective is to take actions that benefit you, not cause you further harm and that keep you on the healing track with your eye on the finish line, your emotional freedom.

  1. Avoid a battle including court at all costs.

Don’t do just what your attorney or friend tells you to do to maximize your partner’s losses for your or their personal gain and to get even. Never take punitive actions or actions that “appear” punitive. Narcissists are predictable but complex and hate to lose and to be challenged, ashamed, exposed, or criticized and will fight to the death to avoid any. Never ever ever let them see you sweat or show emotions that they can construe to the court as your emotional imbalance and inability to be an effective parent. Play nice in the sand box to tip the scales in your favor. Remember your goal and keep your eye on the prize. Be creative.

A gutsy friend told her ex that legally having joint custody would be a burden on him that he did not deserve and that he could see his son whenever he wanted. This was true and she ended up with full legal custody which was in her son’s best interest. She never prevented him from seeing him which turned out to be a few visits anyway and he backed off since he perceived he had already won the battle.

  1. th-15Give something up periodically to provide an illusion that the narcissist won rather
    than challenge them to provide a strategic upper hand.

Narcissists have aggressive personalities and have to win at all costs. If they lose, you must lose. If they win, you must lose.

But you can make the situation appear as if only he won when in reality it is a “win-win” by using strategic tactics. I know people who waived hundreds of thousands of dollars of child support since money was the narcissist’s sore spot and would keep them connected to something they needed to move away from. This leveled the playing field and minimized the conflict to them and their children. The narcissists backed off. They took action that supported their goal for emotional freedom rather than revenge or personal gain. Remember to be able to see the forest through the trees you have to keep looking for and seeking the forest. Remember to keep your eye on the finish line.

  1. Pay them compliments or give them a present.

This will feed their need for attention and adulation. Even if you are in divorce or custody proceedings, they will never pass up on a compliment that they were the best at this or that. Tell them they look great, are an expert, are the smartest or whatever pushes their egotistic buttons. Be creative. Perhaps, even cook them their favorite meal or cookies. Remember that while you may believe some of this, you are insincerely paying compliments. Do this sporadically and intermittently only if you need to. Remember the elemental word here is your self-benefit not your self-sacrifice.

  1. Agree with them even if you don’t.

This “appearance” will feed their need to be right and to win. You will know the truth but he or she won’t and it won’t matter. If your conscience makes it hard for you to actively agree, then respond neutrally such as “Geeze, that is interesting. I never heard it put that way before.” Or just nod and say “ohhhh” or “I get it.”

  1. Apologize if you feel you have to in order to get what you want even if you don’t have any remorse.

Even better, tell them you made a mistake and should have listened to them. Again, this  “appearance” will play up on their need to diminish and denigrate and their need for adulation and to win.

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I hope you find these tips useful.

Remember:

You are not powerless to these creeps and can use your compassion and emotional intelligence that made you a target of a narcissist to turn a harmful power imbalanced relationship into a more power-balanced one that minimizes and prevents further harm to you and your children.

How Do We Nourish Our Own Souls

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“We cannot see our souls or what we call our self-esteem. However, we know that our souls need to be nourished consistently to sustain our joy.”

starving soul hungerTruth is again on my mind like usual or more accurately “the search for truth” and its role in nurturing our souls. Here are my thoughts:

We cannot see our souls or what we call our self-esteem. However, we know that our souls need to be nourished consistently to sustain our joy. We are designed for happiness, however we are also designed with built in mechanisms to protect us from harm. Our emotions even our pain-based ones like shame and sadness exist as gauges to guide and protect us and to keep us safe. When they function properly and our filters are intact, we confidently take cues from them to either course correct or thought correct and take actions that remove us from harm’s way and teach us to avoid that “bad” thing again in the future. Positive emotions, on the other hand, are cues that our actions and thoughts are serving us well.

images-4Once our souls are nourished, we feel complete – happy – content – valued. We know how being liked, loved and desired makes us feel. We set and achieve goals because we know how achieving them makes us feel and that we are worthy of the outcomes. And when our souls are not nourished or are depleted such as from abuse, overwork, and invalidation, we feel trapped, inadequate, and become unhappy, emotionally fatigued, depressed, sad and, even worse, traumatized.

When our souls are routinely starved, we also run the risk of 3 things:

  1. Believing falsely we are the source of the ensuing pain and discomfort; and/or
  2. Blaming something or someone else for them; and/or
  3. Feeling unsafe in our own bodies.

All harm us more because they cause us to feel more pain and stop us from taking action that we need to learn from and that nurture us and sustain our joy.

imagesWe, folks, are NOT the source of our pain. We are the source of our joy. And we own and are responsible for regulating our emotions including our pain. Other things or people can only trigger them. However, our emotions become overly taxed and go haywire after extreme emotional neglect and pain that can make us feel unsafe in our own bodies. Our lives becomes a cycle of creating pain and
trying to alleviate pain we believe falsely we are powerless to. We become victims and reactive to life relying on others who do not have our best interests at heart rather than ourselves for answers and to define our self-worth.

imgres-7This is no secret as what some want us to believe. As a matter of fact, this cognitive based school of thought was founded by Christian Larsen in the very early 1900’s over 100 years ago and now most of his books are free to the public!!

And, yes, our parents or caregivers should have taught us this. In their defense, If they did not, then they were also not taught how to as were their parents ad infinitum.

12049632_1613466202253151_7563358611981122153_nWell, then, how do we nurture our souls?

The answer is pretty simple and is no secret. Here it is!

  1. Unlearning the thinking that makes us addicted to pain;
  2. Surrounding ourselves with others who reflect back to us the nurturing TRUTH our souls need to flourish;
  3. Honoring the value of that truth through self-compassion and self-care;
  4. Learning we are worthy of the effort;
  5. Learning we are worthy of the happiness; and
  6. Reflecting our authentic nurturing truth back to others with love, kindness, and compassion to help them nourish their souls.
  7. Repeating 2 though 6 above.

10592670_618439154966040_3348146276018635085_nThis is how love and life are supposed to work…this is also what abuse, narcissists, emotional vampires, and poor parenting ruin for us. The world is currently in crisis because we have a pandemic of starving souls.

I am committed here at Yourlifelifter to show you how to achieve these objectives and nurture your souls! And as you heal, your children will heal through you.

Be sure to sign up for my FREE self-esteem building tips and tools that can help you make huge strides in your recoveries.

You are all worthy of the effort.

I am honored to support you in your journeys!

How Do We Heal and Mourn After the Loss of a Narcissist?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“We, in essence, have to heal and grieve from multiple doses of betrayal and the accompanying toxic shame and self-loathing and exaggerated feelings of powerlessness.”

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Narcissistic abuse survivors are frequently told to “get over it and move on.” This is not only ridiculous and inappropriate, it is also impossible. Abuse victims have suffered from extreme trauma. Understanding that the people we loved never existed and will never be the people we want and need them to be present huge challenges to victims of narcissistic abuse.

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Narcissist abuse survivors are left with significant inner conflicts because they are faced with mourning someone they loved who will never relieve or take responsibility for the trauma they inflicted on us and who will not ever return the love our hearts long for. Our attackers have, in effect, gotten away with “murder” they were not held accountable for. Emotionally, these can pose serious healing challenges to the surviving victims.

How, then, do we deal with the loss and heal from the trauma narcissists inflicted on us when they are gone? How do we mourn and grieve the loss of a narcissist when they are still alive, when they are dying or have passed away and we are left with unresolved trauma and unrequited love?

WHY IS HEALING AFTER THE LOSS OF A NARCISSISTIC SO DIFFICULT

One of the main reasons that healing from narcissistic abuse as adults is so difficult is because at that point in our lives, we have been betrayed twice and sometimes even more times. To be betrayed by those we intimately trusted is compounded in adulthood as the repressed pain from childhood and the accompanying sense of defenselessness are repeatedly triggered. So after the loss of a narcissist, we are left to heal from the childhood wounds and grieve our childhood and grieve the loss of love that will be forever unrequited. We, in essence, have to heal and grieve from multiple doses of betrayal and the accompanying toxic shame and self-loathing and exaggerated feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. So, effectively grieving after narcissistic abuse provides daunting challenges. It requires a reconciliation and a recalibration of our conflicting beliefs as they relate to loss, forgiveness, unrequited love, our lovability, and our pain and suffering.

“Effectively grieving after narcissistic abuse…requires a reconciliation and a recalibration of our conflicting beliefs as they relate to loss, forgiveness, unrequited love, our lovability, and our pain and suffering.”

th-8We can also mistake trauma bonding (e.g. pain- and peptide-addictions) for love. Narcissistic abuse recovery expert Melanie Tonia Evans explains in “Trauma Bonding: Is It Love or Something Else?” that “we were all conditioned to believe that powerful and all consuming feelings, and the ‘not being able to stop thinking about someone’ and ‘feeling an intense attachment’ must mean love…we were taught very little about real love – as a safe, supportive, calm, regenerating and trustworthy entity. And we didn’t realise that true and real love necessitates a deep knowing that you are the other half of a safe, supportive and genuine ‘team.'”

HEALING IS ABOUT US, NOT THEM

Healing, folks, is not about our attackers. Healing is about us. Mourning and paying respects are not about our attackers, they are all about us. We must heal first in order to effectively mourn and grieve. We must go on a journey to figure out why we loved someone who inflicted unrelenting pain on us. To completely heal we must dig deep to release the inner pain and forgive ourselves for the role we played in our own abuse. Self-forgiveness is a critical part of healing.

Healing Henry Cloud

Read more on the importance of self-forgiveness in healing here.

In healing, rescuing ourselves from our own despair allows us to become emotionally stronger and trusting of our own abilities and self-worth and learn self-compassion that will help us release the shame and the powerlessness and defenselessness we once felt to the unresolved trauma our attackers left us with. Healing will facilitate mourning our childhoods that have passed and the loss or pending loss of the person(s) we once loved and who we once needed to love us by accepting they never existed and will never become who we thought they were. It is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened to us from a neutral position of emotional peace without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us.

Read more on the importance of self-forgiveness in healing here.

knowbetter do betterHealing provides us a divine opportunity to become the authentic persons we were put on this earth to be and thrive. It is at this point that our painful pasts will no longer matter because we have broken our pain addictions and learned to provide our own selves the love and self-respect and self-assurance and self-care that we need to sustain us and thrive and the new found belief that we are worth the effort. We have learned to use our compassion responsibly and we can reliably decide what serves our hearts and souls even in our choices of paying respects when our attackers who we love or once loved have are dying or have died. Even if they are dying, their toxicity is not diminished, just their capacity to act on it. So their “death” or pending death sadly or fortunately (depends on how you choose to view it) essentially forces us into “No Contact” that supports our emotional healing and removes us from the harm from their toxicity.

NARCISSISTS ARE EASY TO FORGET

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Memories of narcissists fade quickly. They leave us very few memories to sustain our love so they are quickly forgotten. And once we are healed, memories of them no longer trigger our repressed pain. So they leave us with little of value or meaning to “miss.” Do we miss someone who is not capable of love and parasitically feeds off of their own children? Do we miss someone who leaves us no loving or pleasant memories to sustain our loss?  Like Maya Angelou said, “we don’t forget how people made us feel.” She was talking about pleasant feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Self-Forgiveness is Fundamental to Healing and Achieving Justice from Narcissistic Abuse

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

th-2“Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing. It is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened to us from a position of emotional neutrality without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us.” 


I’d like to share some information on forgiveness, justice and victimization that may not be so obvious to survivors of narcissistic abuse but is critical to their healing.

Survivors of narcissistic or for that matter any abuse were victims, no different than a victim of a crime, a brutal illegal attack or violation of our boundaries, rights, authorities, or freedoms. What is the difference between a brutal attack of one’s body or possessions and one’s psyche and one’s heart and betrayal of intimate trust? Not many. But there are a few fundamental ones.

brokenheart-wallpaperOne attack, you may think, takes place in the conscious physical world – the other, in the metaphysical, the metacognitive world where we feel and think. However, the pain and shame and anger and fear and trauma we experience from a brutal physical or emotional brutal attack are the same. They inflict the same wounds and frequently open old ones. In addition, there are major differences to how we heal from the wounds. This is why.

We can achieve justice and emotional relief when our attackers are found, charged, found guilty, and punished for their evil deeds. Our victimization is then validated, our egos are soothed, and we can achieve some sense of safety, security, and closure. But what happens when a criminal “gets away with murder” and is free to roam and victimize whomever he or she chooses to target?

Isn’t this what serial thieves do?

Isn’t this what serial murderers and rapists do?8cc14d8f-48d2-4d8c-97d9-3e66d991850e-medium

Isn’t this what serial narcissists do?

The answers are an unequivocal YES and pose huge healing challenges to their victims. Let’s explore these challenges closer.

Healing and Achieving Justice

Healing and justice are not acquired through resentment and revenge that serve no other purpose than feeding our egos, keeping us bonded to our abusers, and continuing to give up our power to them. These are reactive defenses that cause us unjustifiably to take on additional pain and blame and continue to suppress our pain and also keep us trapped and hunkered down in shame and inaction that will do nothing more than hamper our healing and recovery.

Equally, healing and justice are not acquired through excusing the evil or pain or betrayal that was inflicted on us by our attackers or by showing compassion for them. Our need to forgive can also be guilt-driven by our moral, ethical or religious 1935078_1109367059096008_7406065166067850262_nbeliefs and convictions. I agree with renowned author and therapist Dr. Alice Miller and others that we do not have to forgive and that forgiving our abusers is a personal choice. We can add a huge amount of emotional burden to an already painful situation by being told if we do not forgive, we punish ourselves twice..blah blah blah. This can leave us conflicted and feeling added guilt and even shame when we really do not want to forgive.

We also while dealing with forgiveness have to deal with other daunting and unique challenges faced while grieving our losses. Effectively grieving after narcissistic abuse requires a reconciliation and a recalibration of our conflicting beliefs as they not only relate to forgiveness but also to loss, unrequited love, our lovability, and our pain and suffering.

Read more here on how to grieve and mourn the loss of a narcissist.

How, then, do innocent victims “get justice” when their attackers get off free of charge? How then do they achieve emotional relief and a sense of security? Victims of emotional abuse do not even have the option of becoming vigilantes because the narcissists like the mutants on X-men and space creatures on Men in Black look normal on the outside, do their dirty deeds, and remain unscathed. In essence, not only are we the victim, but we also become the police, judge and jury.

Healing is All about the Victims, Not the Abusers

th-1Healing, folks, has nothing to do with our abusers. Healing is, however, all about the victims. We are left to heal invisible wounds that were caused by our active but unaware participation in a very harming situation. Abuse survivors must work to turn their compassion and care inward and release the pain, trauma, shame, anger and fear that were projected onto them and inflicted on them by the emotional and conscienceless criminals, vampires, and thieves who also stole their identities. We, to heal, must not only release the pain and anger from the attack but also the shame from betrayal and of our unconscious complicity in the crime and our perceived foolery. This is why self-forgiveness and self-compassion are so important in healing. As Emily R., a community member at Yourlifelifter so eloquently stated, “forgiving a conscienceless person has absolutely zero meaning, thus, the real issue is learning to forgive oneself for not trusting oneself over their manipulative ploys of false promises and fake emoting.”

Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing.

10453112_10150486967674990_1990359670124377576_nIt is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened
to us from a position of emotional neutrality without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us. Releasing the pain and anger will allow us to heal emotionally. Accepting our powerlessness to the pain “permits” us to direct our energy to healing. But to fully heal we must forgive ourselves for the part we played. This is why understanding why we were targeted is critical to healing. We are then emotionally free to see things truthfully and accept what happened to us, accept our powerlessness to the pain, incrementally take back our personal power and redirect it to change our faulty thinking, rescue our own selves, and stop being vulnerable to emotional criminals.

Healing is a process of self-discovery, self-analysis into the root causes of why we were victimized, addressing how our beliefs contributed to that, correcting our skewed beliefs, mourning our losses, building our self-worth as well as healing our trauma wounds. I personally believe, it is close to impossible to fully accept what happened to us and forgive ourselves for the part we played unless we first heal and recover from the trauma and then stop our faulty victim thinking. This requires fully understanding why we love people who inflict pain on us and why we are attracted to power imbalanced relationships.

 “Forgiving a conscienceless person has absolutely zero meaning, thus, the real issue is learning to forgive oneself for not trusting oneself over their manipulative ploys of false promises and fake emoting.”  ~ Emily R., a community member at Yourlifelifter

As a survivor, I can say that I do not excuse the despicable acts of the abusers in my life or absolve them of their “sins” (e.g. outside my pay grade) but I can say that I am clear on what happened and why it happened in my childhood, why I was targeted and why I let it happen into my adulthood. I am also very clear that the abuse no longer continues because I do not think like a victim so I am no longer victimized. I am not powerless to pain and I do not deserve to suffer. I choose not to participate in the dysfunction so they are defused and go away. They continue to target me because that is just what abusers do and but I am not emotionally vested. I no longer fear them. I no longer believe I have to suffer or self-sacrifice to be good or lovable. I do, however, accept them and readily identify them as the abusers and broken people they are.

Healing Henry CloudWe cannot expect things from people who are not capable of giving them. I accept that life is not fair and I was born into a herd of narcissists that I had no choice over. But I do have choices now based on my new found personal truth and not others’ lies. I choose a life I know I deserve, a life of peace, harmony, happiness, emotionally healthy love and mutual respect! I also accept that they cannot. I also accept that truly evil people do exist and that I do not possess the divine power, right, and authority to absolve them of their depravity.

I do, however, have the divinely provided right and authority first and foremost to forgive myself, heal, and to live a joy-filled life I am deserving and worthy of. The best revenge is healing, happiness, and success!

And in the process we achieve the justice we seek.

What Causes Malignant Narcissism?

imgres-3Well, the experts are not exactly sure and frequently argue the causes between nature and nurture. Some say genetic disposition. Some say abuse, specifically invalidation including neglect and coddling, the same things in actuality that damage children who go on to become abused adults and targets of narcissists.

One thing for sure is that both the narcissists and their targets suffer from deep seated pain and the environmental causes may be the same, however, one child become a narcissistic, a predator, and the other becomes a target, a victim, neurotic. Another fundamental difference is that the neurotic can heal and the narcissist cannot.

Preeminent neuroscientist, Dr. James Fallon reports in “Crime Talk” that we are genetically predisposed to narcissism, empathy and psychopathy. His research discovered that narcissists and psychopaths are genetically predisposed to aggression, violence and lacking compassion and for psychopaths, lacking conscience. The pleasure centers of their brains are also affected so narcissists and psychopaths do not get pleasure like normal folks would get such as from reading a book. What I find very interesting is how Dr. Fallon describes how their “evil genes” are “turned on” by abuse in childhood. Psychopaths and narcissists, however, use the functioning parts of the brain and those that support reasoning and planning to con you and manipulate you. Their brains, according to Dr. Fallon, create a work around in order for them to survive and abuse and con from you what they want and need and they do not care what impact that has on you. Read more in the article, “Can Malignant Narcissism Be Cured?

So narcissists and other covert aggressors feed off of the vulnerabilities of neurotics because narcissists cannot generate their own energy to feed their false disordered persona that lacks compassion. They cannot self-soothe. They deliberately target and actively prey on ONLY certain people like empaths who they can manipulate long lasting narcissistic supply from. They also can target other narcissists.1098228_1187695837924727_3159249499669189930_n

How and where did they learn this?

Of course, where all our fears and phobias and emotional pains are rooted: in our families and in our childhood. They learned their manipulative grooming and combat tactics in the same dysfunctional abusive families where the abused children acquired their wounds. A child learns how to become an effective narcissist by practicing on his related victims who are frequently the empaths and “normal ones” they make the family black sheep and scapegoats. They recruit others in the family to participate with them in their evil dealings. The narcissists learn these aggressively manipulative behaviors in the same environment the abused are conditioned to think like victims and become dependent on others for self-worth.

What makes one neurotic and have low self-worth and the other personality disordered? What makes people evil? What makes us empaths? Only God knows.

Read more in the article, “Can Malignant Narcissism Be Cured?

This I know for sure.

Narcissism runs rampant in my family: aunts, uncles, cousins and so does mental imgres-4illness. My aunts married narcissists. One aunt committed suicide as a result of indescribable physical and psychological narcissistic abuse that I witnessed until her death. Decades later they still do not acknowledge the epidemic level of family mental illness after two suicides and serious depressions and addictions. So obviously, families  are somehow genetically predisposed and provide the environmental conditions to breed narcissists.

LEARN MORE ON DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES AND INTERGENERATIONAL ABUSE.

I, fortunately, very young was able to see the evilness and depravity and wanted no part in it whatsoever. I was talented, bright, empathetic, ethical and bold and so I openly called them on the depravity and the mental illness. And, of course, the role of the normal ones was to bail the others out when they screwed up in addition to feeding their egos. I provided excellent food and narcissistic supply for the herd of narcissists as did the ones with the most serious mental illnesses who they could scapegoat to their hearts’ content.

imgres-2There are not many left now back in the “village” and the herd is thin so the narcissists who are left are starving and now make some of the ones they scapegoated their golden children and feed off of each other and lay in wait for someone to die so they can con their money from them. How convenient? Is that love? Is that family? I think the answer is obvious. I refer to it as “narcissistic sodomization.”

You cannot polish a turd, folks, but you can roll it in glitter and you CAN remove yourself from the toxicity and come into your own truth and achieve emotional freedom. Absolutely you can and you deserve to. And as you heal, your children will heal through you!

I am proof of that and it is now my life’s work to help you do the same. We cannot cure narcissists and we cannot solve all the problems in the world but we can make it better one person at a time and I am personally committed to do that.

Self-Compassion and Self-Care Are Fundamental to Emotional Health

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

images-3Most victims of childhood abuse (includes neglect and emotional invalidation) suffer into adulthood and become adult victims of adult abuse. Our self-esteem and personal identity and understanding of our self-worth suffer. We may have been punished for even attempting to care for ourselves. Consequently, we can feel shame for even taking care of our basic human needs. This vulnerability can be exaggerated in empaths who are predisposed to caring for and feeling responsible for others’ happiness.

We do not learn how to use our compassion responsibly and overcompensate by giving of ourselves too much and letting others who do not have our best interests at heart violate our personal boundaries and dishonor us. We allow them to control our emotions rather than we regulating our own. We bring this skewed thinking learned in childhood into adulthood and learn to neglect our own needs.

12651288_953089158121439_8456393630455492212_n-1Self-care and self-compassion are needed for healing because they “neutralize” the toxic emotions and empower ourselves to learn how to regulate our emotions again. These are good “habits” that relieve the pain and help us assimilate and reconnect with ourselves again. So, in effect self-care and self-compassion allow us an opportunity to witness our healing. They allow us to actively participate in our own healing and regain trust in ourselves and feel safe and secure in our own bodies. Self-care and self-compassion allow us to nourish our souls and are also critical to building self-worth, self-assurance and self-reliance and feel like “ourselves” again, not the pain addicted wounded versions who rely on abusers and manipulators who do not have our best interests at heart to alleviate our discomfort.

We CAN learn how to replace these old “harmful” habits with those that are self-serving to our emotional health and personal joy. We can learn to use our compassion responsibly and learn to focus our compassion and self-care more on ourselves.

“What?” You may ask. “How am I supposed to learn how to do that? I have trouble even saying no.”

Well…like anything, by learning how to and by practicing.

Here are some helpful tips that can help to get you on the right track. And remember PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Use the tips that work for YOU!!!

  1. Pay attention to your own needs and wants. Get out of your head and learn to listen to and heed your bodily cues and emotions that exist to protect you.

Listen to what your body, your mind, and your heart are telling you. For instance, if your body is telling you that you have been sitting down too long, stand up and stretch. If your heart is longing to spend more time with a special friend, do it. If your mind is telling you to clean up your basement, listen to your favorite music, or stop thinking bad thoughts about yourself, take those thoughts seriously.

  1. Take very good care of yourself…..ALWAYS!!!!

images-4As you were growing up you may not have learned how to take good care of yourself. In fact, much of your attention may have been on taking care of others, on just getting by, or on “behaving well.” Perhaps you were even punished for thinking about and caring for yourself.

Begin today to take good care of yourself. Treat yourself as a wonderful parent would treat a small child or as a very best friend might treat another. If you work at taking good care of yourself, you will find that you feel better about yourself and you will learn you are deserving of your own self-care and learn self-reliance that will feed your self-esteem and self-worth.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Eat healthy foods and avoid junk foods (foods containing a lot of sugar, salt, or fat). A healthy daily diet is usually: five or six servings of vegetables and fruit, six servings of whole grain foods like bread, pasta, cereal, and rice, two servings of protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
  • Exercise. Moving your body helps you to feel better and improves your self-esteem. Arrange a time every day or as often as possible when you can get some exercise, preferably outdoors. You can do many different things. Taking a walk is the most common. You could run, ride a bicycle, play a sport, climb up and down stairs several times, put on a tape, or play the radio and dance to the music–anything that feels good to you. If you have a health problem that may restrict your ability to exercise, check with your doctor before beginning or changing your exercise habits.
  • Do special personal hygiene tasks to pamper and make you feel better about yourself such as a bubble bath, special hair conditioning or styling, manicures and pedicures, and teeth whitening.
  • Have a physical examination every year to make sure you are in good health.
  • Plan fun activities for yourself. Learn new things every day.
  • Take time to do things you enjoy. You may be so busy, or feel so badly about yourself, that you spend little or no time doing things you enjoy such as playing a musical instrument, doing a craft project, flying a kite, or going fishing. Make a list of things you enjoy doing. Then do something from that list every day. Add to the list anything new that you discover you enjoy doing.
  • Get something done that you have been putting off. Clean out that drawer. Wash that window. Write that letter. Pay that bill.
  • Do things that make use of your own special talents and abilities. For instance, if you are good with your hands, then make things for yourself, family, and friends. If you like animals, consider having a pet or at least playing with friends’ pets.
  • Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself. If you have little money to spend on new clothes, check out thrift stores in your area.
  • Give yourself rewards for being a great person such as listening to your favorite music or reading your favorite books or taking a trip to a museum.
  • Spend time with people who treat you well and make you feel good about yourself. Avoid people who treat you badly.
  • Make your living space a place that honors the person you are. Whether you live in a single room, a small apartment, or a large home, make that space comfortable and attractive for you. If you share your living space with others, have some space that is just for you, your own personal “slice of heaven” where you can keep your things and know that they will not be disturbed and that you can decorate any way you choose.
  • Display items that you find attractive or that remind you of your achievements or of special times or people in your life. If cost is a factor, use your creativity to think of inexpensive or free ways that you can add to the comfort and enjoyment of your space.
  • Make your meals a special time. Turn off the television, radio, and stereo. Set the table, even if you are eating alone. Light a candle or put some flowers or an attractive object in the center of the table. Arrange your food in an attractive way on your plate. If you eat with others, encourage discussion of pleasant topics. Avoid discussing difficult issues at meals.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to learn something new or improve your skills. Take a class or go to a seminar. Many adult education programs are free or very inexpensive. For those that are more costly, ask about a possible scholarship or fee reduction.
  • Begin doing those things that you know will make you feel better about yourself like going on a diet, beginning an exercise program or keeping your living space clean.
  • Do something nice for another person. Smile at someone who looks sad. Say a few kind words to the checkout cashier. Help your spouse with an unpleasant chore. Take a meal to a friend who is sick. Send a card to an acquaintance. Volunteer for a worthy organization.
  • imgres-3Make it a point to treat your self well every day. Before you go to bed each night, write about how you treated yourself well during the day and how you will treat your self tomorrow.
  1.   Learn how to manage boundaries.

Abusers and exploiters and bullies and especially narcissists are masters at pushing pain buttons, making people feel powerless, and getting people to let down their boundaries and getting them to give up their power to them. In fact, they enjoy doing it. They use charm and love as their camouflage. We become unknowingly complicit in our own abuse and exploitation. We innocently expose ourselves to some of the worst abuse and harm imaginable.

12654645_941891752514920_7863427450412629576_nPart of healing for those who were victims and continue to be susceptible to their attacks, then, is learning to maintain and protect your personal boundaries so you are not vulnerable to emotional predators.

Unfortunately, there is no electronic monitor like a home protection system you can purchase to warn you of impending “emotional” predators and attacks. However, you can strengthen your own internal monitors and learn new skills including honing your narcissist radar otherwise known as “NADAR” and honoring and “feeling” for and caring for your own wants and needs with compassion and defending your personal rights and authorities. These include assertively expressing what your rights, authorities, needs, and feelings are and recognizing and regulating your own emotions especially your pain-based ones and learning when they are triggered and who routinely triggers them. Just as important, then, is knowing WHAT makes you happy.

Read more on managing personal boundaries here.

Abuse survivors can also become notorious boundary violators themselves. We in healing must learn not only to manage our boundaries but also to respect other’s as well. People who are heavily dependent on others for self-worth particularly may have a hard time sourcing their own power and learning self-reliance. Codependents have learned to routinely not only let others violate their boundaries but also to violate other’s boundaries to source from them what they need to define their worth.

Learning boundary management by re-learning what personal rights are and where healthy authorities and boundaries start and finish will help you replace maladaptive thoughts, beliefs, and actions with healthy ones and help you make great strides in your healing.

  1.   Learn assertiveness skills including how to say “no.”

Learning assertiveness skills will not only protect your personal rights that support your self-esteem and self-care but will also help you keep your cool and prevent you from being manipulated and abused by those who push your pain and shame buttons. These skills can help immensely in boundary management that support and sustain your emotional health and mutually respectful and loving relationships.

  1.   Learn how to set and achieve goals.

Once you do be sure to develop your personal action and accountability plan, your life’s road map to achieving your goals and getting where you want to go and getting back on course when you “get lost.” Remember that your character, people skills, personal limitations, emotional makeup, and motivation level will impact achievement of goals. Mentors and coaches can help you generate your action plan, monitor your progress, hold you accountable, and develop alternate courses of actions when you hit roadblocks.

The Gentleman

Gut wrenchingly beautiful…th-2

by Sheri Spain, Detoxify You

I’ve met the most amazing gentleman, the man of my deepest dreams and desires.

Kindness, understanding, attentive. Handsome, giving, intelligent. A true gentleman who walks me safely to my car.

I’m fragile, I say. I’ve had loss.

I’ll never hurt you he assures.

Love overwhelms quickly, I share my awe with one and all.

He’s a gentleman, truly. My hero. My partner. My man. My soul mate. My King.

I am the Queen of his world, he says, I’m twitterpated. Quotes from Bambi?! Yes! Oh, my.

Marry me. Yes.

The nightmare begins softly, the very next week.

An ugly word or two. Uncharacteristic inconsideration. Excuses, apologies, gifts. Ignoring, complaining, forgetting. Intimacy withheld.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I love you. Don’t leave me.

What is wrong with me? His cries work their deceit.

It’s ok, I murmur. We are committed, we’ll work this out.

I should have listened to myself, my intuition, nagging concerns.

Tantrums, crazy-making, nonsensical demands commence.

My needs are dismissed, his concerns the only priority.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I love you. Don’t leave me.

What is wrong with me?

We mustn’t tell, no one will like me, he fears. He cries and moans.

Shares his agonies of life, such sadness and pain and tragedy.

A victim, many times over, at the hands of women. Psycho-bitches all.

I see and feel. Deeply. A knowing. A gift and a curse.

I give in. I trust again. Benefit of the doubt. Again. Stupid.

I’ll get help, he says. I’ll tell the truth.

Promises, promises, promises. Promises never ever kept, never ever meant. Just carrots dangling.

His secret became my secret. My burden to bear.

While his adoring fans gather ‘round. Rock star fantasy lives.

He quits his meds, dismisses his doctors. (He lied to them, too.)

Escalating crisis, erratic behavior. Danger dances. A roller coaster, ever-jumping tracks. Chaos reigns. He rules.

Alone, so alone. Suffocating in shallow and fallacy.

I call his adult daughter to encourage and support her Dad. She’s sorry. She’s not equipped to handle these behaviors he’s been plagued with all his life.

Shock, just shock. Manipulated. I’m not the first, second, or third.

Another discard, another souvenir. A serial abuser of women. A master manipulator.

Fear is the cacophony. No more mask at home. His Bundy is released. Charm and torture. He controls my food, my activities, when I can sleep.

Me. I’m dying as the servant of his twisted facade. Sucking me dry.

A vampire.

Forceful isolation. Degradation. Humiliation. Fear becomes terror.

His fists come out. My tears and pain belittled.

An accident, I didn’t mean to, I don’t remember. It’s your fault.

I’ve cowered in corners, his spittle in my face, finger poking my bones.

I’ve hidden weapons from him and slept in my car. Concealed the bruises. Keeping the secret. Co-dependent.

I try and try and try and try and try and try and try and try. I read and research and read some more while he saunters. And smirks. Does nothing. While I work. And work. And work.

Maybe this will work, maybe that will change. Maybe, maybe.

Accept the reality; let go of the dream. Turn to the cliff. Jump.

I tell him I’m done. He steals my resume, my writing. Spends the last of my money. Hoards his. Bribes for his minions.

Trapped. Scared. Don’t make him mad. Misery.

Months and months.

John Q matters significantly, I am nothing. Never was. Just a pawn.

His fury grows with non-reaction, upping the ante until I fight back.

He smiles with his victory hand; his game complete. Demonized.

It’s fun making you lose your mind, my tormentor taunts.

Go ahead and tell, no one will believe you. You’re the crazy one, He says. Not me. I’m a shaman and an alchemist. And a man of God.

My tribe says so. They say there’s nothing wrong with me. Sneer.

I understand. I get it. More lessons to be revealed.

For they all love the most amazing gentleman they’ve ever met.

Who never was.

Why Understanding the Differences Between Harm, Fear, and Real Danger is Fundamental to Your Healing and Well-Being

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

images-2I write frequently about the differences between aggression and power.  I’d like to expand on this topic as it relates to harm, fear and danger a bit more because understanding this is critical to your healing

We Believe Falsely that We are Defenseless

After we are repeatedly harmed, our fear and other pain-based responses can malfunction and go into overdrive because we have been traumatized and our perception of our personal power falsely and temporarily squelched by years of abuse. Consequently, our coping and defense mechanisms that define and nourish our personal power never develop and the trauma and pain becomes chemically programmed into our brain cells. We become trauma addicted. We become heavily dependent on others rather than ourselves to define our self-worth and power. This is not adaptive and does not support our emotional health or healthy relationships! Rather, we stay subconsciously trapped to irrational pain and fears (our neuroses) which keep us vulnerable to narcissists and other covert aggressors who hunt for and feed off of our vulnerabilities.

Emotional vampires are experts on identifying targets with these neuroses-based vulnerabilities. In addition, once we are in relationships with narcissistic abusers, we can end up grossly overestimating danger based on past harm and grossly underestimating our ability to deal with it. What we perceive as “dangers” can really be “triggers” that are pushing our childhood trauma buttons and our childhood feelings of pain and powerlessness! Read this again. Our fears can be false! In reality, our desire for our abuser is an addiction to the trauma they create. Now this does not mean that a narcissist cannot ever pose a real threat to you or your children and can never harm you. If you ever feel you are in real danger, leave and call 911 or your local authorities immediately. However, what it does mean, on the other hand, is that:

  1. You can falsely fear them because you think they are dangerous when in reality they are not and
  2. You can falsely think you are defenseless when in reality you are not.

Small mosquitoSo that big bad wolf narcissist, that vampire whom you think will suck your life’s blood dry is in actually just a weak manipulative annoyance, an aggressive mosquito that has learned to push the right buttons just like the weak coward behind the curtain pretending to be the all powerful Oz by creating an illusion of smoke and mirrors. Aggression is not synonymous with power, strength or danger, folks! The result?

We can think we are in danger and defenseless and panic ourselves unnecessarily when in reality, we are safe and just need to take our power back. We are fearing a powerless being who cannot generate their own energy and who learned to go after other’s power aggressively. We can remain trauma addicted and mistake it for love for our abusers! Our neuroses and low self-esteem allow us to become complicit in our own abuse and in the abuse of our children! We remain victims of abuse because we were conditioned to think like victims in our childhood. We end up with skewed perceptions of what harm, fear, and danger really are and falsely think we are unable to deal with them. We can even go so far as to choose staying with an abuser that we fear less than, for example, being single because we relate that to abandonment that we fear more!

Our Irrational Fears Can Perpetuate Abuse

if-you-dont-heal-your-painIt is this irrational thinking that allows us unknowingly to let abusers who cannot generate their own energy target and exploit us and is the origin of how abuse is perpetuated from generation to generation as we teach our children to think the same way. Understanding this is necessary for your healing so read this carefully and process this and bring it into the forefront of your thinking. Until we are able to deal with these false beliefs, we can stay emotionally connected to the abusers even if we have no contact and this is why.

Energy vampires feed on our responses not only fueled by ego-driven need for revenge and justice but also our personal fears. We end up keeping the narcissistic supply going and keeping ourselves connected to them and they continue being our and our children’s emotional puppet masters. When we fear someone or something, we give them the power to control us!

“When you can shift the pain and fear out of your cells of what the narcissist is doing, or may do, you stop feeding his or her energy.” ~Melanie Tonia Evans

We Need to Take Our Power Back

imgresRemember that the ex-girlfriend, boyfriend, sister, father, mother, co-worker are nothing more than weak bullies, nothing but simple predictable energy vampires. Without you and your attention and energy, they shrivel up and die like the Wicked Witch of the West on the Wizard of Oz. A bucket of water destroyed her. The “Great and Powerful Oz” was a weak coward presenting an illusion of greatness and power. Dorothy and her entourage had the brains, heart, courage, and answers all the time. And so do you!

But in order to take your power back, you need to acknowledge and release the pain, shame, and fear first – those deep seated pains from repressed childhood wounds that raise their ugly heads when our trauma buttons are pushed. In addition, our own egos can keep us trapped in this pain. Is your personal pride and fear of shame keeping you from admitting the truth? Those of you who are reading this (who do not have personality disorders), and you know who you are, who claim that they were not abused in childhood are lying to yourselves. Abuse and aggression can be covert or overt. Passive and covert aggressors do just as much psychological damage as overt abusers. Neglect is abuse. Invalidation is abuse. So stop fooling yourselves so you can move forward to uncover your past to recover your future. The point is this, folks.

Narcissistic abusers have aggressive manipulative personalities. They are born wired that way. They search for and find victims who they are able to manipulate to get what they need because that is just what they do. They are human predators, human parasites. Abusers are everywhere! They find us. We do not find them. In addition, aggression is not synonymous with strength or danger. Remember, however, they do not prey on emotionally fit people because emotionally fit people do not have the vulnerabilities abusers know their victims need in order for their manipulation efforts to be successful. But we have the power and option not to let them. That is once we embrace and release our pain and take ourselves and our power back. Once we learn narcissists are aggressive but weak and we are not powerless or defenseless to them, once we stop thinking like victims, once we learn to regulate our own pain, we no longer become victims not only to narcissists but also to our own thinking. The narcissists, I promise you, disappear like the wind. So stop feeding the beasts and take your power backYour children will heal through you! This is how we break the cycle of intergenerational abuse. This is how we heal. This is how we thrive.

Are You Struggling with Figuring Out What You Really Want?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

Reposted from April 2014. Excerpted from I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher as modified by Evelyn Ryan.

                              To love a life that is exciting and fulfilling, you can’t do what’s “right,”                                                   you have to do what’s right for you. ~ Barbara Sher

th-33Are you personally struggling with figuring out what it is you really want? Are you “stuck in the muck?”

I am.

I have no emergencies in my life to address and no “fires” to put out.

My only daughter and child will be graduating soon and will be off to college.

Everything in my life has changed unexpectedly and I do not know what to with myself now.

Can you relate?

If you can, how do we get “unstuck from the muck” and deal with this dilemma?

Don’t panic.

You are fine, I am fine. We are fine. The answers are inside us.

th-32They are just blocked and we need to unblock them.

Simple. So do not judge yourself and accept that you DO have the answers. Do not let this blur your vision and make you bitter or sad.

This is NOT A TEST that we pass or fail. You, we just have to be curious and search for the answers with positivity, humility, patience and kindness for ourselves…as we would guide a child. We need to identify the inner conflicts, that inner voice, those invisible limiting beliefs that prevent us from making a change and pursuing what we really love.

Do not let inner conflicts or fears cloud your judgment and lead to despair. Do not “what if” yourself to death or catastrophize which can scare you to death or lead to depression.

So what could be blocking us from creating a clear vision?

Is it fear such as fear of lost income, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of change, fear of being trapped, fear of uncertainty?

Do you feel you’ve done it all or are too young or too old to pursue that goal? Is that goal too big for you?

Or perhaps your life has changed, like mine and you don’t have the first idea how to redesign your life? Or perhaps this is the first time you have had to focus on yourself?

th-31Well, I am personally struggling with creating direction and goals. Everything is going pretty well in my life and I do not really NEED anything. I am also pretty well adjusted and don’t need any internal “fixing.” My challenge is that everything in my life has changed and I have to start a new one at 56 years old!

So the real question we seek to answer is this…

What would our life be and look and feel like if we had no obstacles?

So as I seek the answers, I shall continue to share the lessons I learn with you.

And together, let us find the answers that work best for us individually and help us on a path to figure out what we love and pursue our goals, achieve inner peace and contentment and be the best that we can be.

“The universe is not going to see someone like you again in the entire history of creation.” Vartan Gregorian

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Understanding Why Narcissists Targeted You is Fundamental to Healing

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

1098228_1187695837924727_3159249499669189930_nAre you compassionate? Empathetic?

Well, if you are, you are one of 40% of the population who are a prime target for scapegoaters, bullies, narcissists, con-artists, and sociopaths who comprise a subset of the remaining 60% of the population. So being a “nice” person is your double-edged sword and most likely why you are reading this.

According to Dr. Jane McGregor, empaths are ordinary people who are highly perceptiveimgres-6 and insightful and belong to the 40% of human beings who sense when something’s not right, who respond to their gut instinct, and who take action and speak up. They frequently like the child in the The Emperor’s New Clothes, will tell the truth and expose lies and wrong doing and are targets of scapegoaters, bullies, narcissists, and sociopaths who are driven by exaggerated envy and fear of shame, lack of compassion, and the inability to self sooth.

LISTEN TO THIS PROVOCATIVE DISCUSSION ON “THE TOXIC TANGO OF EMPATHS AND NARCISSISTS.”

In the 1990s, researchers suggested that there was a positive relationship between empathy and emotional intelligence. Since then, that term has been used interchangeably with emotional literacy. What this means in practice is that empaths have the ability to understand their own emotions, to listen to other people and empathize with their emotions, to express emotions productively and to handle their emotions in such a way as to improve their personal power.

Dr. McGregor describes that people are often attracted to empaths because of their compassionate nature. A particular attribute is that they are sensitive to the emotional distress of others. Conversely, they have trouble comprehending a closed mind and lack of compassion in others. This is a limitation that empathetic “nice” people have and that you need to bring into your level of awareness and glue into your memory banks.

imgres-2This inability to see the “bad” in others also significantly enhances their vulnerability to attacks from emotional vampires throughout their lives. As a result, empaths can be targeted easily by energy vampires such as scapegoaters, bullies, narcissists, and sociopaths who enlist other uncompassionate and apathetic people in their wrong-doing. So in actuality, abused children and adults in the world are some of the “nicest” people in the world. This is crazy making, folks, and is the heart of scapegoating and abuse in families and in my opinion, one of the main causes of evil in society today. The number one reason people seek counseling is because they were scapegoated as a child and suffer post traumatic distress. This is psychological trauma! Read on.

Empaths use their ability to boost their and others’ well being and safety. Dr. McGregor found it interesting how often people see empaths in problematical terms. Dr. McGregor in her research found that most people, the 60% majority, prefer the easy life. She explains that some of us admire people who make a bold stand, while others feel uneasy about them.

Listen to and learn more on this compelling and provocative topic discussed with Evelyn Ryan on Mental Health News Radio here.

images-3Problems escalate for empaths, however, when apaths are in the vicinity. Empaths can be brought down, distressed and forced into the position of the lone fighter by the inaction of more apathetic types round them. This is also how school and work group bullying and scapegoating works. The bullies enlist the apathetic, fearful, and defenseless ones who are the ones most likely to go with the flow, to agree that the emperor/empress is wearing new clothes. Apaths behave defenselessly because they want to avoid unpleasant or harmful circumstances [including the bully turning on them]. Apathy is an avoidance strategy that contributes to abuse…by proxy!

Listen and learn more on “The Toxic Tango of Empaths and Narcissists.

images-2Kim Saeed, a narcissistic abuse recovery expert, says that narcissists prey on empaths and highly sensitive people. Empaths operate predominately from love, humility, and giving. They have a natural capacity for healing and teaching others. However, until they learn how to responsibly use those gifts, they are often taken advantage of…not only by romantic partners, but people in general. Further, empaths have a track record of developing codependent behaviors in childhood to deal with the overwhelming unfairness in the world and to please others, which they usually carry into their adult relationships. It is easy to see, then, how empaths who were abused as children can develop exaggerated codependency issues and dependence on others to define their worth.

Kim further explains that when the empath and narcissist enter into a relationship together, it becomes hyper toxic. It creates a magnetic, yet vibrationally dysfunctional union. The empath’s sole purpose is to facilitate healing in others. Narcissists are insatiable and incurable. The empath gives to the point of complete and utter exhaustion. Because of these natural tendencies, the unaware empath often finds themselves not only being targeted by a narcissist but staying in a relationship with a toxic personality for too long and the damage to them is compounded.

So, all you empathetic and empathic people who suffered and are recovering from abuse as a child, childhood bullying, adult bullying and went on to marry a narcissist or more than one narcissist, bring this into your level of awareness during your healing. Educate yourself, your children and others on their inability to see the “bad” in others, the wolves in sheep’s clothing. This significantly increases your vulnerability to 60% of people, who not only comprise narcissists, bullies, and psychopaths but also the weak ones who join these abusers or harm you further by doing nothing (inaction) because they lack the heart or courage (that you have) to just do the right thing.

I hope you find this useful in your recovery and search for truth!